All posts for the month February, 2006

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Can you figure out the connection with the photo? Good luck!

Keep it visual.
If you find yourself creating your own lessons (and I encourage you to do so), you are going to need to keep your lesson visual. Your class will pay attention and it will keep you creative. Here is a list of ways I’ve tried to keep it visual over the years:

  • Oversized or large objects… you can find these in various variety and novelty shops, online clown shops and you can attempt to make them yourself out of foam, Styrofoam, large format printing, etc.
  • Puppets – muppet-style, shadow, mop/broom, paper bags (thanks Fandango!)
  • Costumed Characters – big headed full-bodied costumes and people dressed-up as a character who had developed a character personality – start collecting funny clothing, wigs, masks, fake noses and other dress-up stuff.
  • Illusions – yep the evils of magic in church (by the way, take the poll)
  • Cartoons – Randy Christensen has two books on cartoon lesson – they are so easy and make you look good!
  • DVD clips – everything from a full-length movie to a five minute clip.
  • Science Experiments – you really need to get the sermons in chemistry set.
  • Dance Routines – Kids are great at coming up with choreography – just ask a group of 3rd-5th grade girls to figure it out – they’ll drop whatever they’re doing!
  • Clowns – again, Randy Christensen is the guy to get your resources from.
  • Athletes – they can come in and demonstrate what they do – they could be professionals or highschoolers. Either way, kids love ’em!
  • Community Service People – Policemen, firemen, paramedics – Get them to bring all the cool stuff that kids love to see up close.
  • Extreme Sports Demonstations – Skateboarding, rockwall climbing, bull riding… There are people in your church and community that can do this stuff.
  • Live Animals – Kids love animals whether its a dog, gerbil or monkey. You can find people that can bring in snakes, tarantulas, iguanas, large cats, monkeys, tropical birds and other large birds.
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Dick Gruber – I received Jesus as Savior at the age of ten at a Kids’ Crusade conducted by Dick Gruber and his wife Darlene. I watched him and knew that I was supposed to minister to kids one day. He inspired me to learn to juggle and use puppets. Dick has continued to give me great advice and help over the last 22 years.

He has served big churches and little churches and for a number of years was the children’s ministry specialist for the Assemblies of God headquarters.

Dick is now the Professor of Children’s Ministries at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, PA. He has recently launched a new, online, college level program for children’s ministry training called CMU.

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